Hello Happy Readers! This is part two of my New Parent Survival Series, where I share tips, tricks, and insider info on this whole parenting situation. Today I want to share with you some items I consider new mom essentials. Now some of these items are specific to moms, but many of them are great things for both new parents to have.
- Nursing sports and sleep bras – No matter which method of feeding you choose, these bras offer needed support and comfort while you’re snuggled up with your new little one. Even if you chose to exclusively formula feed you’re going to need extra support while your milk dries up, and your breasts will still be tender. Bonus – they come in pretty colors too.
- Comfort food, and comfort entertainment. Being a new parent is hard. Even when things go exactly as they’re meant to, the first weeks are rough. Indulge yourselves with your favorite foods, and save up a few Netflix binges for those long snuggle hours on the couch or in bed.
- Nice pj pants. PJs are comfy, and perfect to help you remember to slow down and relax. The last thing you want is to feel either uncomfortable or slobby along with sleep deprived and emotional, so super cute pj pants are the way to go! Buy a few pairs in colors that match your maternity or nursing tanks, and lounge away!
- Good music on easy to access devices. Did you know babies love dancing? Dancing is a fabulous remedy for colic, over-tiredness, over stimulation, and boredom – all reasons babies cry in the first few weeks when they’re seemingly crying “for no reason.” Dancing also makes mom feel better, so crank up the tunes and get moving!
- A support system. This is your number one, most important essential for both mom and dad. You need people. The village isn’t always meant to raise the child, more often they’re actually meant to raise mom and dad. Build your village with different types of people to meet many types of needs. Doctors that you trust, family that love your child as much as you do, and friends you can call when you have a question you don’t want to ask the doctor. People you can vent to without judgement, people who bring dinner and hold the baby while you eat, people who drag you out for coffee, and give you a reason to wear real clothes once a week. If you don’t have this support system, then create it. Go to parenting classes, prenatal yoga, contact local mommy and me groups and see if you can come meet them before you have the baby. Get phone numbers, and use their experience. These women (and men) have been in the trenches, let them help you. There is no need to blaze a new trail and boldly go where no mom has gone before.
- A sense of humor. Frankly, sometimes parenting sucks (and I’m not talking about the breastfeeding). Sharing a sense of humor with your partner in crime can be a tremendous help. There is a lot of laughter to be had at the expense of the little dictator-tot. Get your giggles together and you can get through an awful lot.
- A thick skin. Let me tell you, there is something about a tiny defenseless person being cared for by a scared, vulnerable new parent that just brings out the least helpful side of people. You may begin to notice this when you’re pregnant actually, what with all the birth horror stories, “you’ll never sleep again” commentary, and oh so amusing “are you sure it’s not two?!?!” questions. Some of these people will claim to be experts, and some may actually be experts, HOWEVER – you are the expert on your child. You spend 24 hours a day with him/her. You know what works for your family. Find actual experts whose advice you trust, and use the information they give you to make the best decisions for your family.
Here’s the thing new mom or dad… this parenting thing is not always fun. It’s hard. It’s work. I mean it’s kicked off with something called LABOR, and it really doesn’t get any easier than that, just (usually) less physically painful. But it is So. Much. More. More than can ever be described, more than can be wrapped up in a cutesy little Hallmark card. It’s moments you want to last forever, mixed in with days you think will never end. But it’s good. So good. And so worth it, and so amazing, and so everything. Because that’s what kids are… everything. That’s the way it should be. And it may not seem like it every day, but you’re going to be alright. You’re doing good… I promise.